Grace’s Weekly Devotional:
 “Is It 1967?”


In 1967 we were getting ready for our summer vacation. Riots had broken out in Detroit. The city was burning. I had lived for 3 years in a Student Nurse Home at Henry Ford Hospital 10 years before and the area that I had walked in, went to restaurants in, attended a church in, shopped in, was burning.  I was sickened by this, I had seen the poverty, I had seen the segregation even in a hospital, I had witnessed the needs, but this was for me, a safe neighborhood. As we headed up North to the cottage, we had rented in the Upper Peninsula we could see the National Guard headed South.  Truck after truck with men and equipment went by and I silently shed tears for what was happening and for the lives lost and those that would be impacted by these riots.  The enormity of what was happening was witnessed in the sheer number of trucks headed towards Detroit. Last night I watched the news as once again, riots were breaking out across the country and I hoped that Detroit was quiet.  I turned on the local news and saw that crowds were refusing to be dispersed and the Police were pushing back.  I was grateful that no one had been seriously injured because of the protests, and although there were arrests there wasn’t any reported unjustified force used. One person had been killed in a drive-by shooting thought to be unrelated to the protest.  I thought how long must people wait for justice, for equal rights, for fair treatment. We have come a long way from the 60’s, a long way from fire hoses and police dogs, but not far enough. A man died a needless death at the hands of the very person we were all, as children, told to trust.  Protests that turn into violence frighten me.  I support protests having learned many years ago to carry a sign and walk in a circle to garner the attention needed to accomplish a goal. Jesus gave us a simple commandment; he calls us to love one another, there were no caveats, no special conditions just three simple words, “Love one another.”

A new command I give you: Love One another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.

John 13:34-35

Lord, our world is in turmoil, we are fighting a pandemic and protests and riots are erupting.  Be with our country, heal us Lord.  Be with those who mourn the 100,000 and more who have died in this viral assault, be with those who have lost loved ones to violence and injustice, be with the sick and those who grieve.  Bless our Pastor and his ministry, be with his family, be with our staff, bless them and give them your inspiration and guidance. Be with us as we seek to be the church, may we remember that you are our God and we are your people.  It is in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen

Grace Epperson